OK I admit it! I was always going to smile favourably on Wodan because I love Europa Park and I adore the wooden coasters off Great Coasters International. Having said that, even I was surprised by how good this attraction is. This is a ride that impresses as soon as you clap eyes on it and is a great adventure from the moment you enter the Plaza.
Wodan is situated in the Iceland area of the park and is magnificently themed on Viking Gods. The ride was cleverly squeezed onto a relatively small plot by constructing some sections of the track over the adjacent rides Atlantica SuperSplash and Blue Fire. As you enter the plaza the magnificent wooden structure rises up before you with a fantastic and somewhat mystical looking arch forming the entrance to the ride. If you have to queue for a coaster this is the place you would want to do. Europa Park have paid as much attention to detail and the guest experience in the queue line as they have on the ride itself with impressive results.
On entering the line you walk through an outside section which features some attractive landscaping, a mystical pond with a statue and dry ice effects and most impressively a toilet! This is an innovation which should definitely be repeated on future rides. The exterior portion of the queue takes you underneath the structure of the coaster affording great views of the ride in motion before entering the station building and winding its way through corridors of stone impregnated with gems. (Well they are not real gems but hey!) At one point a wooden structure above your head starts shaking and appears to be about to collapse and you then pass through an interesting area of gloomy forest with animated effects. By this time you are not far from your ride but the time seems to have passed very quickly. This is partly due to the consistently interesting queuing area and partly because of the epic through put of the ride which keeps the line moving at an amazing rate.
The station is also striking with statues whose heads move to follow the arrival and exit of the trains and the excitement is enhanced by the constant noise of trains thundering along the structure of the ride. When you step into your ride car you are immediately welcomed by the comfortable upholstery. I know hard core coaster fans find the absence of pain on this ride disappointing but I rather like the concept!
The ride itself is high velocity twisting chase through a series of drops and bends which passes over the adjacent rides and delivers constant thrills. The excitement just doesn’t let up until you return to the station and Wodan is quite simply a blast! It is the kind of ride that you exit and immediately feel the need to ride again (and again). The theming is as good as the ride experience and the queue line is the best I have ever seen.
If you do feel the need for a break between rides the area around Wodan is very attractive and worth exploring. There is a rather good coffee bar and a couple of excellent souvenir shops selling Wodan and Blue Fire merchandise, fashion items and Scandinavian style contemporary homewares. There is an air of class about the whole thing and I can’t wait to return!
Article by Sally Stacey